Speaking as a 6'2" person. I have suffered the fact that many of my favorite bikes seem to have been made for....Shall we say, the vertically challenged. 999's as an example, torture to ride any distance but so much fun I just deal with it.
My regular ride is a BMW K bike. I have an overly long commute and use my K bike all year for that commute. It, like most BMW's fit tall folks well. Plus the heated grips and other gizmos make BMW a fun ride as well, even in cold weather. Maintenance is expensive and required every 6000 miles. Something to factor in picking a bike.
You might also consider the Japanese standards, tour bikes (goldwing) and sport tour bikes (st1300 and FJR??)
Bandit, V-Strom, Bonneville, Daytona 955, BMW R1150R, ZX-14, Ducati Monsters.....heck, there are a lot of them. Go to all the dealers you can and sit on as many bikes as you can. Yamaha has about the poorest selection of bikes extant, especially considering how big the company is.
I'm glad to hear that something can be done to keep the Ulysses from sounding like an early BMW K bike. They almost have a electric motor sound?
Unfortunately, I rode up to our local Buell dealer to get a look at one about 4 weeks ago only to find that they stopped selling Buells! I was shocked, but it seems no one here was buying them. This is sad, because I was ready to buy that day. There is another dealer that's just a few miles further away, but folks I know who have dealt with them have nothing good to say about their service department. Not to worry though, I'll eventually get a deal worked out on a Ulysses. I just need to plan on service being a pain because of the long trip to find a dealer. Nothing new, I have to take my BMW 80 miles to the nearest dealer. Living in the middle of nowhere has it's down side...
I am 6'9 so I know what your feeling and then some.
Cruiser I would go with a Victory 8-Ball, look better than the Harleys and still have that "Go USA" resale value and respect.
Street bike who ever mentioned the V-Strom is right on it. Ugly, but easily the most praised all around bike. Great for us tall people.
Yamaha the only one that fits the bill would be an old FZ1. The 2006 is too sporty sounding for you. Yamaha's cruisers are good but the resale value and respect just is not there. I am not saying that 'right' just saying how it is.
In reality, any motorcycle is pretty comfortable. Get on a road bicycle sometime and ride around for a couple hours and then jump on a motorcycle. It will feel like an Easy Boy.
If you kinda want a touring bike I've read things on the new BMW F800 series and they sound really good. They look sharp, have good wind protection and fall in your price range? Also, there is a BMW dealer right by the Portland Airport.
Further more, I'm a Portland brother and I am six even and I've been riding a SV650 year-round for a couple years now. It'll do some good mileage, though 60 miles is my limit at 80mph. If you want, I can tell you some good places to head out to for weekend scoots.
Someone mentioned something about an old fazer. I'd say go for it.
Another vote for the V-Strom. I am 6'3" and have the VStrom 650. I love it. I came off a V-Star and before that a Yamaha Maxim. The V-Strom is an awesome sport touring bike that is perfect for tall riders. I can easily do 200 miles without the leg cramps or back pain that I used to experience. For under $10k you could get the V-strom 1000 fully equipped with hard luggage, a touring windscreen, and various other goodies. For around $7k you could get the V-strom 650 set up the same way. Either way you would have a great set up that would be very comfortable for longer legs.
I am 6'5" with a 36" inseam. I have sat on just about every bike from every major manufacturer. Depending on your inseam, I would recommend: 1) Buell Ulysses, 2) Triumph Speed Triple, 3) Triumph Sprint ST, 4) any Victory, and finally 5) H-D Wide Glide with forward controls. NOTE: Inseam makes a huge difference. My brother is 6'2" with a 33-34 inseam, and he could not get both feet flat on the Ulysses.
I am a long backed, short legged 6 footer, and I do lot of long distance riding and have ridden most of the major sports touring bikes FJR, ST1100, 1300, and other bikes from the multistrada and KTM 950 but two of my rides stood out for comfort--a '99 BMW 650 GS and an Aprilia Maxi scooter (Scarabeo 500). Both had relaxed seating but had room to move my legs. Sports bikes are great for up to 5-6 hours= R1, R6, YFr 600, Super Hawk and so on but a fixed leg position kills us over time. The semi enduros make great commuters too. The back pain you suffer comes from two aspects of riding. The straight up and down position with your weight on your butt, and the other comes from slumping and letting your back muscles sag. Any ride that has you leaning forward a little with some of your weight supported by your legs helps combat the back ache. All the bikes posted should suit you just fine, but do look at the BMWs.
Wow! More than I hoped for. I think I am headed over to the BMW/Triumph dealer first, to sit on some bikes. The Rocket III has a heck of an intro payment on it (99/month for 24 months) but got a bit torn up in the review. I am interested in the BMW's and the Sprint ST. Big change to what I have ridden, but you only live once right? Maybe a ZX-14
I enjoy the look/feel/style of the cruisers, but there are too many people that have told me the sport and ST bikes are the way to go for me to ignore.
At 6'8, with a 36" inseam I'd recommend just about any bike that BMW makes, it seems like they're made for tall people. Triumphs are also relatively roomy, as is the previous generation Yamaha FZ-1, although I can't comment on the new model. at only 6' tall, you still have a wide range of options!
Don't put too much weight on the reviews of the journalist.(only read MO)
But really, a tweak to a new model makes last years a sled type of review doesn't make sense to me.
For example; the Triumph Tiger had won comparos in the past and now is considered a joke in need of an update when tested against the latest adv/tour stuff. That doesn't mean it's not a great bike for you or still as good as it ever was.
Uh....my point.... FZ-1('05), R1150GS('00-04), V-strom 1000, plus many listed above.
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